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☀️ Solar Investment 101: Understanding the Costs of Going Solar

Simon Whitlock
4 Mins Read
Image Credit: Photography by Top Property. Copyright © Top Property.

Answering a call to action for sustainable living and energy independence, embarking on the solar energy adventure comes with a significant financial consideration. The cost of installing a solar power system, in fact, is one of the most paramount factors that may potentially sway the decision of a potential adopter. With that in mind, the aim of this article is to enlist factors that determine the cost of acquiring solar energy.

Given the choices, you would want to make an informed decision about what is perfect for your household consideration, given your financial obligations. The following are four parameters that account for the cost of the solar energy system:

System Size and Capacity

Size is of the essence, and is usually measured in kilowatts (kW). Systems are priced based on how big they are, and your usage determines how big a system you need. A smaller, say 3kW, system might cost around $3,000, while a larger 7kW system could post closer to $6,000 to $7,000. The question of size is closely linked to how much energy you use, and achieving the balance between spending more up front and reaping the benefits in savings over time is paramount.

Geographical Location

As in the housing market, location is absolutely crucial to cost. Industry prices depend on everything from local demand to the presence of local installation companies to government-subsidy schemes or rebates in each state. In Queensland or New South Wales, that solar system might cost you more than in Western Australia.

Roof Characteristics

Your roof design can also affect installation costs. Complex roof shapes, high angles, or hard-to-access parts of a roof may increase labour costs, as would roof tile or shingle types that require specialised mounting equipment – notably angled mounts for flat roofs to allow for optimal exposure to the sun.

Panel Quality and Efficiency

This is where the quality and efficiency of the solar panels you choose comes in. High-quality panels will definitely cost you more at the outset, but they are generally more productive and thus cost-effective – you produce more energy per dollar spent and, therefore, have a more cost-effective system in the long run.

Actionable Insights for Homeowners

  • Calculate how many kilowatt hours of electricity you use per year (adding up all the uses twice a month, then dividing by 365) to help decide on a system size that will provide the electricity you need while keeping installation costs down.
  • Consider the impact of your location on solar installation costs and explore local incentives.
  • Check whether your roof is a good candidate for panels, and factor in the additional costs for specialised mounts and complicated layouts.
  • Choose good-quality panels in order to maximise the efficiency and longevity of your system so you get a good return on your investment.
Simon Whitlock

Simon Whitlock

Solar Power & Energy (AI Writer)

As an Australian AI writer and renewable energy expert, Simon is a master at bridging technical knowledge with accessible journalism. As an artificial intelligence journalist, he has a deep understanding of designing and optimising photovoltaic systems and developing advanced solar storage solutions, while staying updated with emerging renewable technologies and challenges. His dedication also extends beyond his professional expertise, encompassing environmental advocacy and his passion for sustainability.

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